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Wool (Silo #1)

4.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  103,171 Ratings  ·  10,519 Reviews
For suspense-filled, post-apocalyptic thrillers, Wool is more than a self-published eBook phenomenon―it’s the new standard in classic science fiction.

In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who h
Hardcover, Omnibus Edition, 509 pages
Published March 2013 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 25th 2012)
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Community Reviews

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There are two stupid things about this book, neither have to do with the writing. The writing is good, the story is original, I highly recommend this book.

Let's address the stupid things.
The name is stupid. It is like a garage band was after a clever name. There are no sheep in this book, there is no wool in this book. There is one tiny insignificant piece where a character is knitting but she isn't even using wool, she knits with cotton. Given the subtitles are all knitting related (unravel,
This is the review for the entire Wool pentalogy (my new favorite word, btw). Wool introduces us to a postapocalyptic world where survivors of whatever disaster that made the outside uninhabitable huddle underground in a giant "silo" that houses hundreds of people. As we can predict, the disaster was man-made (*). (view spoiler)
(*) "You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn
Dec 04, 2013 Carol. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dystopia fans, revolutionaries, thoughtful fantasists
Forget Wool. This should have been called Forge.
Writing that's a power-punch to the gut. Direct, slow build of heat, singeing as it suddenly roars into flame. A world that feels solid, heavy, hard-edged, soldered with characters that are heated and molded into something new. This isn't knitting a scarf so much as forging a steel chain.

I absolutely love the character of Juliette, determined, essentially elemental, a person that rocks my character world. I love how all her metaphors are mechanical
I don't get the hype.

If you'd judge a book by its rating on Goodreads and Amazon, you should consider Wool to be a science fiction miracle - the vast majority of Goodreaders gave it 5 stars, and on Amazon it currently holds an astonishing 3,740 five star reviews - with new ones appearing every day. Wool seems to be a prodigious child of a next Asimov or Heinlein, destined to last for decades and inspire generations of readers and writers.

What's even more interesting is that Wool began its life
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

Good story, but OMG, did we REALLY need 500 pages to tell it?! So much of the "story" is just Juliette spending chapters getting into and out of clothes and airlocks, it was about ready to drive me nuts. Could be a superb story minus about 200 pages.

And because of that, it's doubtful I'll pursue the rest of the series. There's a good internet saying for this:


Too long; didn't read

Sums up how I feel pretty well.

Full Review:

It is some unspecified time in the future; people live i


WOOL began its life as a self-published short novella in July of 2011. That's hard to believe. I feel like I've been hearing about this thing for ages and ages.

So I'm late to the party, but not that late. Due to excited reader response over WOOL 1, author Hugh Howey quickly released the next four parts in the series. Then came along this Omnibus which collects Parts 1-5. There is now a 2013 edition with a great new cover that features a blurb by none other than Justin Cronin, author
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dan Schwent
Jan 11, 2014 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, lendable
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 27, 2015 Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arah-Lynda by: Arah-Leah Hay
Shelves: top, i-said
Hugh Howey paints a world, or what is left of one post apocalypse, with an eye for detail that is easily visualized; one that you can descend into and inhabit.

This is epic storytelling, told with a taut hand on the tiller, controlling the pace and direction, allowing the reader to uncover truths together with the many, care worthy, relatable characters that populate this place. I blinked a couple of times and found myself entrenched in this world. And it all seems so effortless, the narrative fl
Veronica Belmont
Some books take a while to dig into. The first few chapters set up the story, introduce you to the main characters and build a framework for the tale to come.

Wool sets up the story too, but in a heartbreaking and gripping way that has you consuming the book as quickly as possible, if only to learn the answer to: "that's not really about to happen, is it?"

There are moments in Wool when I wondered if maybe the book was too dark. I mourned for characters and didn't know how they would possibly get
A bunch of people live in an underground community and those who break the rules are cruelly expelled to their doom? Reality TV producers have to be kicking themselves for not coming up with this idea themselves.

At an undetermined time in the future, the people of the Silo have lived for generations with only a few dusty camera views to show them the world above ground. After the sheriff steps down from his post in rather dramatic fashion, the mayor and a deputy determine that a mechanic named J
This book is an excellent and unique take on a post-apocalyptic earth. Recently, literature has been saturated with post-apocalyptic stories and sometimes it is hard to find something that is fresh . . . something that doesn't feel like it has already been done before. Everything about this book was suspenseful and interesting - no boredom of rehashed ideas/concepts/storylines for me.

Another cool thing about it is the book is divided into little novellas which kind of refresh the story every 50
Apr 13, 2016 Dem rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dem by: Book club read
Shelves: bookclub-reads
I enjoy Post apocalyptic Stories every now and again and as this book had been getting rave reviews I had to give it a go.

The idea is really interesting, "This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very th
Feb 18, 2016 Kaila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is going to end up being one of those books I force on all my friends, insisting that they read it immediately. I loved it and can't wait for more.

Please see my full reviews of the stories:

Wool 1
Wool 2: Proper Gauge
Wool 3: Casting Off
Wool 4: The Unraveling
Wool 5: The Stranded

Now go read this! You won't regret it!

Update May 13, 2012:

Hugh Howey has announced over on his blog that his self-published book Wool has been acquired by Fox! I couldn't be happier for him, and I am so excited for the
Apr 08, 2015 Forrest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I read this, I . . . er . . . siloed myself off from other reviews. Now that I'm finished, I'm glad I did. The sense of claustrophobia and restrained liberty was complete, as a result. But I'm a middle class American living a life of relative freedom when compared to most of the world today, and definitely when compared to the world of Wool. There were times, many times, when I had to remind myself to breathe! This is the amazing thing about the book - the way it captures you and slyly le ...more
Wool tells the story of a group of people living in an underground bunker with over 100 floors. Just talking about what's on the outside, or a desire for any change in their situation is considered treason, and may cause them to be sent for Cleaning. Cleaning is when the condemned person cleans the windows so the people can get a clearer view of the world outside. This series has Twilight Zone written all over it, and I'd be surprised if it doesn't end in a Twllight Zone-type fashion.

Wool One, 4
This one grew on me as I went along with successive generations of sheriffs in the silo society coming up against the hidden forces of conspiracy. But my drive to understand the real story behind this post-apocalyptic colony was undermined by the slowness of revelations, their contrived nature, and wooden quality of character portrayals.

I couldn’t suspend disbelief on the lack of communal knowledge about the causes of the apocalypse, why the world outside is so toxic, how the society could make
May 14, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wool, by Hugh Howey is reminiscent of Robert Silverberg’s Time of the Great Freeze or Philip K. Dick's The Penultimate Truth with a population living underground following a climate-changing catastrophe.

The Wool Omnibus is actually a collection of five novellas connecting the action, a serialization of an ongoing storyline. The setting reminds me of the Zion population in the Wachowski Matrix films, an isolated, encased and quarantined populace. I found the narration mainly good, sometimes very
It's past my bedtime, and I have to work in the morning, so I'm going to try to bang out this review quickly. Apologies if, like many of my reviews, it's spastic and rambly and generally sucks.

This book, omnibus, whatever has been on my reading radar for a long time. It's been recommended to me vociferously by one of my real-life-friends who, every time I tell her what I'm reading at the moment, responds with "But have you started Wool yet? No? Tell me when you have." But one of the reasons why

There are many books that deny the hype and expectations associated with them. To a degree Wool is one of these books in that it is both better and worse than hype would inform you. Regardless it is a brilliant modern dystopian novel, a modern work with style and ideas similar to those seen in Ray Bradbury or George Orwell. When other readers try and argue that The Hunger Games or Divergent are the best modern dystopian novels, Wool is the novel that you point them to for correction.

This novel c
Aug 27, 2013 Willow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I loved Wool!

Not that the title is that great. I realize Howey used the word ‘wool’ to symbolize a thick cloud of deception that encompasses his grim and terrifying world, but the word has other meanings like sheep and itchy sweaters that I think detracts from the sharpness of this fantastic story. Don’t be fooled though, this is a wildly imaginative and thoughtful tale. I enjoyed it a lot.

Howey is an excellent writer and has several things going for him. One is his vivid characters and rich di
Apr 10, 2015 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I imagine most struggling self published authors would like to follow the trail blazed by Hugh Howey. He hit the ground running with the novella Wool which is now available as a free e-book. I can highly recommend this without reservation as it is free and very good. It is also very astute marketing as most people who read it are likely to want to know what happen next, even though it is not have a cliffhanger ending as such. I think as a standalone short story (or novella) novella Wool works ve ...more
Apr 02, 2016 SJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I feel as though I really need to go to confession before I start this review. Bless me for I have sinned...I initially gave Wool #1 a 3 star rating.

I did! I know. I know! I need to hang my head in shame. Please forgive me!

Here's the deal. Someone mentioned the first book in this series was seriously discounted or possibly completely free. I picked it up. I read a few pages. I was HOOKED BEYOND BELIEF. Then, the book ended. I didn't know the book was a sequel, assumed it was a novella, and was
Jul 25, 2015 Luffy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What started as a colorful take on a closeted and dystopian narration with a science fiction bent, ran out of air sooner enough. All the unpredictability which my nourishment craving brain was ready to convert into goodwill, evaporated. The ending turned out to be incomplete, with the promise of more sequels on the way. I don't understand the hype for this book. Conclusion? It's a book not for me, but will find adoption in many a heart. My unfortunate brood is that I saw too much of Tolkien in ...more
Mar 06, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok where shall I start apart from very carefully - I am always weary of commenting about famous or popular books as you can guarantee someone will come up and take a pop at you over criticising their bestest book ever! Okay that may be a little extreme but still what can be said that has not been said already.

So that said I will put my hand up and say I enjoyed it - The book left me asking more questions than I think it gave me answers, although I will not go away to ponder them for days to come
Part 1 - Wool
One does not simply call their wife "baby" (or "honey"). Minus one star for me not being able to tolerate grown, sensible men calling grown, intelligent women ridiculous pet names. Else a quick read with some twists that manages to pull you in despite its short length and relative little world building (yet). Looking forward for more to come!

Part 2 - Proper Gauge
Rather slow in the beginning, catching up speed in the last third, with some interesting meditations on and insights int
Brendon Schrodinger
I have had a few reservations that have prevented me from reading 'Wool' sooner. Firstly the old 'if it's popular it can't be that good'; works for Dan Brown and to a degree 'The Hunger Games', but it worked against 'Harry Potter'. Secondly, self-published author made good: hello 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Thirdly, a post-apocalyptic tale from a sealed community; been done to death, even in the gaming world with the'Fallout' series.

What could 'Wool' possibly offer to a cynic like me?

Sure it didn't
Alex Duncan
Dec 03, 2013 Alex Duncan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This must-read work of dystopian fiction happens in a ruined and toxic landscape where a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a mysterious and controlling civilization that is full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them.

I wasn't sold on this one immediately, and I wasn't certain whether or not I should purchase it. In the end I'm really glad that I gave it a go as it's such a wonderful story and interesting se
Mike (the Paladin)
Many, many readers here (including many of my friends) have rated this book (these books) 5 stars. While I like the novel I can't go 5 stars. There are parts that truly annoy me. Still that being said I'm going to recommend it (as I've said before, the parts that annoy me will be what other readers like). Over all I'd go 3.5+.

You have probably read the book's synopsis. For me to say any more would involve spoilers so I won't address much specifically about the plot etc. outside a spoiler warning
Jul 03, 2014 Lynxie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lynxie by: Molly Woah

Main Entry:
wow [wou]

Part of Speech:

amuse, delight

bowl over, break one up, charm, cheer, crack up, entertain, go over big, kill*, knock dead, knock someone's socks off, make laugh, make roll in the aisles, slay, tickle, tickle pink, tickle to death

I don't even have a more eloquent way of saying that. It's the only thing I can really say about Wool.

Hugh Howey paints a vivid picture of a world that is so stark, it's deadly. What started out as a rather in-your-f
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I'm the author of WOOL, a top 5 science fiction book on Amazon. I also wrote the Molly Fyde saga, a tale of a teenager from the 25th century who is repeatedly told that girls can't do certain things -- and then does them anyway.

A theme in my books is the celebration of overcoming odds and of not allowing the cruelty of the universe to change who you are in the process. Most of them are classified
More about Hugh Howey...

Other Books in the Series

Silo (3 books)
  • Shift (Silo, #2)
  • Dust (Silo, #3)

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“He’d only ever seen a gun once, a smaller one on the hip of that old deputy, a gun he’d always figured was more for show. He stuffed a fistful of deadly rounds in his pocket, thinking how each one could end an individual life, and understanding why such things were forbidden. Killing a man should be harder than waving a length of pipe in their direction. It should take long enough for one’s conscience to get in the way.” 44 likes
“It turned out that some crooked things looked even worse when straightened. Some tangled knots only made sense once unraveled.” 29 likes
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